The End Of The Line

Will someone please check the calendar? This is Spring, right? A cold 30 degrees this morning at the Terra but bright skies. As long as there’s some sunshine, the cold ain’t so bad. Hey, that might be a good lyrical line for a song. I’d better start working on that.

I’ve convinced myself to limit the news I watch and reading all the Facebook posts, no make those arguments and spend my mornings this week listening to music. It definitely helps to improve my mood and keeps my vocal cords in shape. Unfortunately, that’s about the only muscle group getting exercise these days. I need warmer drier weather to get back to walking in the woods.

This morning as I was singing along to the ‘Feel Good Classic Rock’ station on Prime Music, the song ‘The End of the Line’ started playing. The one that was done by the Traveling Wilburys. I had not heard it for quite some time but the lyrics came back to me immediately.

“Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand”

These days I think we’re all doing the best we can. Not too much living as we please but if we can get out and take a ride in the breeze while maintaining an appropriate social distance of course, I think we would all feel better. The Doodle and I are going to take a drive today and let the cold Ohio breeze blow through our hair. For about 30 seconds. Brrrr.

While we are all getting through this strange time, are you lending a hand as the last line of the verse above mentions? I’ve been cooped up in the Terra for three weeks now since driving back to Ohio from Florida, and for the Doodle’s sake (she has asked for her own social distancing), I’m connecting with different organizations in the area to see how I can help in serving the community. Not sure what I’ll end up doing but excited to be able to do so.

One thing on Facebook that has been encouraging for me to see is all the videos of people sharing simple acts of kindness with each other. I wish we had more of that on social media. So many ways to brighten the day of those around us. I encourage you to think of what would be fun for you to share with others and go for it.

Our church, Meadow Park, has a philosophy that we all need to ‘Live Love’. We pick multiple days each year to go out into the community as the body of Christ and share simple acts of kindness to whomever God brings our way. Those are some of the best days all year for those we meet (we hope) and for ourselves as well. Nothing fancy, just trying to Live Love. On those days and every day.

The last two verses to End of the Line are below. Or maybe they’re the chorus, forgive me, Mr. Havelka (my high school choir director), for not remembering my song structure correctly. But I guess it really doesn’t matter.

The point of the song, to me, is even if we’re old and gray and even if the sun don’t shine, we’re all still going to the end of the line. So why not remember to live (love) and let live and do our best to forgive.

“Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and gray
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive”

“Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line”

I hope you make time to ride around in the breeze over the days ahead. And find a way to do the best you can to lend a hand as we all ride out this crazy coronavirus together.

Be encouraged folks. And be encouragement to one another.

See you down the road….

Is This Surreal Life

Is this just fantasy.
Caught in a landslide.
No escape from quarantine.

Not quite the words you may remember from the song Bohemian Rhapsody but those are the words that have been playing in my mind since listening to the song this morning. It truly is a surreal time we are all living in.

Now don’t worry. I haven’t shot a man – yet. But as I listened, okay as I was singing to the song this morning I started to think about how the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty Freddie Mercury felt is very similar to what many of us are feeling now. I know there have been moments these past couple weeks that I have felt like a poor boy with shivers down my spine. No body aches yet and I sure do hope they don’t start.

But anyway, isn’t it crazy how quickly our world has changed? Both throughout the globe and in our own personal worlds? We’ve gone from every day living to waiting on the daily press conference from our President or Governor to see how we need to adjust our living for the next day. Can we, should we go to the park for a walk or grab some groceries from the store? Will I loose my job? How will I pay my bills? Will I get sick? Will someone I love? What can I do right now to help others in more need than I am?

So many questions and to make it even worse, so many opinions and news reports bombarding us each day on television or through social media. It’s a lot to take in and process. It’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. I have at times so I’ve limited by news and social media time to just in the morning and then again in the early evening. And there’s the daily 2pm ‘Wine with DeWine’ press conference here in Ohio. I am running low on red wine in case anyone wants to help a guy out.

Self isolating, social distancing, and sheltering at home in some regards are really easy for me to do. I live in an RV. Just me and the Doodle. There’s plenty of room between our lot and the few others here at our current campground. Enough room to take a walk and still be able to say hi or have a short conversation from a six foot distance. Not quite as cordial as usual at the campground but still friendly enough. I’m looking forward to being able to gather around a campfire with folks again and share a few cold drinks.

Until that time is possible, I’m looking for ways to stay in contact with people. My family and friends. Especially my grand kids. Being able to call, text, FaceTime, Hangout, and Skype with them is really helpful but still there are times when loneliness creeps in. I’m comfortable being alone and pretty much always have been comfortable with it but when being alone is not just by choice it’s a little harder.

I found myself getting caught up in the vast uncertainty of what’s going on and decided to limit the input, like I mentioned above, and to substitute that and fill my time reading and with music. Most of my reading is in the Bible right now and devotional type books. I’ve been a follower of the Christ for 35 years and in good times and bad, I’m pulled back to the scriptures and the message of love and grace that has and always will be there for me. For all of us. For everyone. I find not just comfort in that but also confidence that no matter what is going on or how crazy the world around may be, I can face it.

And music. Since I was probably three or four years old, I’ve loved music. I can’t say all music, like that whole Ska thing a few years back, but almost every genre of music I do enjoy. Just depends upon my mood and the occasion. Lately in the mornings I’ve been listening to southern rock from the 70’s to get my day started. While cooking, I usually have mellow acoustic tunes playing either from the 70s or some pretty good current artists. I may change genres five or six times throughout the day. Basically just following where my spirit takes me. And of course I’m singing along. Scripture does tell us to make a joyful noise don’t you know. That’s one scripture lesson that I can pretty easily follow.

The Doodle and I came back to Ohio about four weeks early in case traveling within the US became more restricted. I wasn’t really excited to drive back into Ohio weather but it’s comforting to be back and to be close to my kids and friends. I am waiting ten to fourteen days before going to see anyone just in case I picked up the virus on my trip back. Can’t wait to hug, play with, and tickle my grand kids. And one or two other folks I know. You know who you are.

Sitting here tonight, riding out a pretty good thunderstorm, I’m writing this and thinking how thankful I really am. Life’s been good to me so far although very challenging at times. Even disappointing and tragic. But my life has taught me to enjoy today. To live in each moment as they come. To not worry about tomorrow because in all honestly I have very little control over it. That’s pretty obvious right now in my world and probably in yours too. To give my concerns and fears to the One that does know the future and to be at peace as much as I can each day. Some days are easier than others to do that but my faith keeps me trying. And my hope doesn’t fade.

So folks, I encourage you to turn off the news and decrease your time on social media over the weeks before us. Find a few good books and spend your time getting lost for a while in the worlds written in those pages. And turn on those old songs that you know by heart and sing along as loud as you can. Loud enough for your neighbors to hear you. You may just be giving them the song they need to hear and the courage to sing through the days ahead.

Any way the wind blows.

See you down the road….